Book Review & Giveaway: A Pocketful of Seeds by Debbie Johnson

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Does the idea of changing the world sound cliché? Debbie Johnson believes that we each hold a pocket of seeds to sow into the fabric of the universe to make that true. She is an activist of social change and through the teachings of Christ, gives to us her beautiful book of hope, “A Pocketful of Seeds: 365 Daily Seeds.”

These daily seeds arm us with practical knowledge and daily challenges to enable us to be agents of social change with the adage that “what we reap, we sow.”

Today is December 17th and her challenge for her readers is to “Use Lesson Plans” and curriculum to activate change. She references Compassion International’s Christian homeschool curriculum as a starting point. It is useful to us whether we are homeschool parents or not. I know I’m not, but find this “curriculum” easy to use at home and at work.

If you’re looking to change the world and it seems less and less possible, I highly recommend you pick up “A Pocketful of Seeds.” Debbie Johnson does a wonderful job with connecting to her reader (of any socio-economic status and of culture). I’m grateful for a useful handbook of sorts to start the year off on a giving foot.

This book makes a perfect Christmas gift. I would challenge you to purchase it as a New Year’s gift or a graduation present for a teenager.

Enjoy the interview below with Debbie Johnson. It is a pleasure to read her responses and I’m especially grateful that she prefaces Christians with American Christians.

What was the inspiration for A Pocketful of Seeds?
Over the years, through my work in urban Denver and among the Dalits (formerly called the Untouchables) of India, I’ve been able to rub elbows with some creative and effective social activists. I started a file of their ideas plus some of my own. After a while, the file got a bit thick so I decided to compile the ideas into a book.

Why do you think A Pocketful of Seeds is necessary?
There are various trains of thought about Christian social activism, from “our-job-is-to-evangelize-only” to “what-good-is-evangelism-if-the-recipients-don’t-see-that-we-care-first” to “I’ll-wait-until-I-figure-out-where-to-plug-in” to “if-I-serve-at-a-soup-kitchen-once-a year, I’ve-done-my-job.” I think that God has made it clear that “to-whom-much-is-given-much-is-required.” As American Christians, we have enormous power to do good. A $25 micro-loan to a woman in India can literally change her life, at a very small cost to us. Plus, a giving life is a joyful life. Sure, we need to have right motives, etc., but some people hold back because they don’t know where to begin. I pray that this book gives an abundance of ideas about how and where to begin.

How did writing A Pocketful of Seeds change or inform your perspective on your own faith journey?
I have a couple of personal mission statement “strands.” One is to motivate and inspire my fellow Americans, particularly American Christians, to get more involved in their world. We can do so much more than we are doing. That’s not an indictment, just an observation. The opportunities present themselves when we step into someone else’s world, particularly if that world is full of struggle, poverty, etc. So in this sense, writing the book has enhanced my faith journey.

 The second strand has to do with sharing the Gospel with others. It’s important enough to me to be part of my personal mission statement, but I’ve felt inadequate. My spoken words seem to have fallen short…and I’ve felt like a failure. However, I’ve found my voice through my fingers (on my laptop)!

My desire is to share the Jesus life in language non-Christians can at least read without rolling their eyes. There are so many negative stereotypes out there! And non-Christians now engage with me through my writing. I love that so much. This has been a welcomed surprise in my faith journey—an answered prayer.

What do you hope are the main takeaways for your readers?
You don’t have to do everything daily, just the thing(s) God has called you to, and if possible, daily.
A practical suggestion is to choose one local and one global outreach.
God is love, and love lifts us. What a wonderful thing to “sow” into the lives around us.

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Comment below to enter for a chance to win a copy of this book. I will draw a name on Saturday and announce the winner then as well.

*Thank you to the Blythe Daniel Agency, Inc. for allowing me to review this book and for providing a book for the giveaway this month. 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Blog About book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Cover photo credit: Photo by Smile Su on Unsplash

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